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Maastricht Health Campus Will Focus on Conventions in Maastricht

The Maastricht Health Campus will be the enabler of new conventions in Maastricht. The project Conventioncity+ has been created for this. The project should lead to more medical conventions in the city, a stronger image as knowledge city and region, more cooperation between knowledge institutions, more business and more accommodation, expenditure and employment in the city and region. The municipality of Maastricht contributes € 100,000 per year for the realization of the project Conventioncity+, in 2012–2013-2014. Conventioncity+ is an initiative by the municipality Maastricht, the Maastricht Health Campus, MECC Maastricht, Maastricht University and the Maastricht Convention Bureau.

Economic priorities, cooperation and city branding

The contribution is provided on the basis of the economic priorities, the regional cooperation within Brainport and LED (Limburg Economic Development) and the policy of city branding. In the project, knowledge and networks of the convention world, Maastricht Health Campus and business are connected. The main purpose is the development of convention trades with a focus on the Maastricht Health Campus, realized by the network of its partners. To acquire important medical conventions together is another goal.

In this way knowledge will be developed and spread and opportunities for business will arise to respond to this new knowledge (valorisation). In addition, the project is a tool to improve the image of Maastricht and region as knowledge city/ region.

The councillor responsible, John Aarts, said: "In these tough economic times it is good to see that by working together we can achieve more with the same Euro. This contribution stimulates the Maastricht Health Campus, the business tourism industry and improves the image of Maastricht. That means we catch 3 birds with one stone."

Knowledge, skills, cash

The project combines forces of the partners to strengthen both the Maastricht Health Campus as well as increasing business tourism. The spearheads of the Maastricht Health Campus are central, namely:

  • Cardiovascular disorders
  • Metabolic aspects of chronic diseases including cancer
  • Public Health & Primary Care
  • Mental health & neurosciences

To ensure maximum success solid marketing is enquired. Convention and trades are a marketing tool that can make an important contribution.

Harm Jan Driessen, intendant of the Maastricht Health Campus says: “For the development of the regional economy, it is important that the development of the Maastricht Health Campus will be picked up with united strength. By good cooperation we provide high quality employment. Organising conventions in the field of health is an important pillar of the Maastricht Health Campus. We therefore welcome this initiative of the municipality Maastricht very much”

Economic interest

Conventions and trades in Maastricht have a great impact on the city and its region. Amongst other things, it involves the direct economic results for organisations such as the MECC Maastricht, hotels, local transportation and gastronomy. This last component alone shows a € 365,- turnover per convention attendee per day. In total, the project aims at least 16,5000 delegate days, generating over € 6,000,000. In addition, a better (knowledge) image makes it easier to entice new businesses to invest and settle in the city and region. Also, convention visitors are brought in contact with our knowledge institutions and companies. This will lead to new forms of cooperation and business and more employment.

The Role of Maastricht Convention Bureau

In implanting the Conventioncity+ project, The Maastricht Convention Bureau fulfils an enabling role. It coordinates the cooperation between the partners, such as Maastricht University, the Maastricht Health Campus and the municipality. Furthermore, MECC Maastricht and the Maastricht Conventions Bureau work even more closely on the operation of the specific convention market linked to the themes of the Maastricht Health Campus. Marcel Knols, director of the Maastricht Convention Bureau commented: “We have extensively tested this way of working in the last six months. It appears that we can enable more and easier convention development and acquisition, with positive results.” Eric Broekaart, director of MECC Maastricht added: “By clearly focussing from various organisations and reviewing the progress and achieving the targets frequently we are more decisive."

Pictured: Meuse River (Source: Wikimedia Commons)